The CIO's Role In Business Operation

As one of the high-ranking executive members within a company, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for the management and implementation of computer and information systems. Depending on the size of the company, their role and distinctive contributions can improve or drive an organization towards success.

Nowadays, the business landscape changes in response to current needs and future trends, CIO roles focus more on the impact of information technology (IT) on various aspects of the organization and the role of data in productivity.

Today's CIOs need to hone their storytelling style to influence organizational culture and raise awareness of technology-driven performance, ultimately increasing company productivity. Additionally, understanding how to manage the convergence of roles and responsibilities for CIOs and CTOs is increasingly important.

Storytelling Is An Essential Skill For Modern CIOs

As key stakeholders, CIOs need to master storytelling skills to move the organization forward on its digital transformation journey. As the head of IT - and, indeed of all related business operations in one way or another - the CIO must be able to communicate effectively with direct reports, non-tech employees, vendors, board members and colleagues in the C-suite presenting their language to the knowledge of their listeners. It is critical to master the art of developing and presenting these initiatives in a way that is widely understood and relevant across the organization.

A modern CIO has the ability to influence corporate culture and convey messages to the organization with stories that will be told for years to come. Just as communities of people convey their culture through stories, music, and other forms of storytelling, CIOs can convey company culture through table conversations, virtual meetings, and company email. A good CIO who leads with care and compassion will inspire a team to do the same. Persistence in sharing key messages underpins the company's future plans and guides the organization toward overall goals.

The best leaders know that success is achieved through teamwork. Therefore, building a strong and talented workforce is an integral part of the CIO's role. The CIO should use their storytelling skills to align with the CEO and other C-level executives to tell the story together so that it is consistent when heard by the extended team, regardless whatever the source. If the whole team has a common understanding of your company's goals and values, it's easier to embrace new technologies and move forward into a changing future.

How are the mix of CIO and CTO roles managed?

Digital transformation is increasingly blurring the lines that define the roles of CIOs and CTOs. The two functions may look similar, or even similar, so it's not surprising that the terms are sometimes confused when used interchangeably. This confusion is understandable, as roles come with powers and responsibilities that do not change from company to company.

According to analysts at Gartner, the CTO's role is evolving to meet the needs of the digital business industry. The CTO is a highly skilled technical professional with years of experience creating technology solutions to improve business processes, increase productivity and efficiency, and reduce costs for customers and suppliers and internal staff.

Potentially overlapping responsibilities can lead to friction as the CIO and CTO must match each other in ownership of processes and strategies. A CIO today is more like a business leader than a top IT programmer, developer or architect. They must manage business strategies and be responsible for business results and operations. CTOs are typically builders and engineers with technical backgrounds. On the other hand, CIOs are operational thinkers who keep teams working efficiently and productively. Through effective collaboration, the unique experiences of both roles help companies drive innovation and increase productivity. It is important to find common ground and share knowledge.

The CIO must always keep up with innovations

When analyzing the role of the CIOs, they cover all the core elements of the business that oversee people, processes and technology in the company's IT organization. But today, as organizations move towards digital growth, the CIO's role has become crucial. They must manage the organization's entire IT ecosystem. Agile and innovative under pressure, CIOs must keep up with new trends and assess emerging technologies to successfully lead their organizations' technology decision-making processes. They need to collaborate and trust technologists, CTOs, CDOs or chief architects who can help them understand the changing landscape and transform the organization without additional technical debt.

For example, a CIO may use their up-to-date knowledge of technologies to decide what type of data storage is best for a particular use case, such as AI, machine learning and analytics workloads. In that scenario, the CIO must factor in the storage medium, storage architecture, deployment model and proximity of the storage to decide which setup is the most optimal.

Cloud-based technology is another example. According to Gartner analysts
"By 2025, more than 85% of organizations will adopt a cloud-based policy and will not be able to fully implement their digital strategies without the use of cloud-based architectures and technologies." As a result, CIOs must now act as cloud operators, overseeing the integration of devices, applications, virtual environments, available cloud services, and related infrastructure. Choice and flexibility have been top concerns for CIOs in recent years and are increasingly important now, even as CIOs take over as cloud operators.

The Most Effective CIOs Keep On The Path Of Digital Transformation Course

Today's CIO role requires skills that meet an organization's digital transformation needs. A CIO who is a great storyteller can help a company continue its digital transformation path by identifying and creating an innovative culture within the organization. Skillfully navigating the convergence of CIO and CTO roles can help you maximize the effectiveness of your organization if there are CTOs and CIOs with overlapping roles or if the roles are filled by one person.

Finally, continuous evaluation and implementation of new technology trends can enable a modern CIO to make decisions that give his company a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As we approach a fully digitized future, harnessing these skills will be critical to the success of the CIO.